Don't forget, waste collections will be a day later than usual all this week after the spring bank holiday.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.


As a private rented tenant, you may be looking at a property to see if it has enough space to live in. Or you may already be living in a private rented home.

Overcrowding is where there are too many people living in a home. The government has set a standard on overcrowding, which is often lower than people think. It has two parts to it; a room standard and a space standard.

The room standard – This looks at the number and sex of people who have to sleep in the same room. Any room that can be slept in counts, such as living rooms, dining rooms and studies, not just bedrooms.

Your home is overcrowded if:

  • two people of a different sex have to sleep in the same room
  • they are aged 10 or over

The rule does not apply to couples who share a room. Children under 10 are not counted.

The space standard – This has two ways to work out if your home is overcrowded. First, count the number of people living there; anyone aged 10 or over counts as 1 person, children aged 1 to 9 count as 0.5 and children under 1-year-old do not count.

Next, count the number of rooms or measure the floor space of each room. You do not count any room that is; under 50 square feet or 4.6 square metres or is not a bedroom or living room. Then check the tables below to see if your home is overcrowded:

Number of rooms

Number of roomsMaximum number of people allowed
Number of rooms1Maximum number of people allowed2
Number of rooms2Maximum number of people allowed3
Number of rooms3Maximum number of people allowed5
Number of rooms4Maximum number of people allowed7.5
Number of rooms5Maximum number of people allowed10

Floor space of each room

Room’s floor space in square feet Room’s floor space in square metres Maximum number of people allowed
Room’s floor space in square feet 50 – 69Room’s floor space in square metres 4.6 – 6.4Maximum number of people allowed 0.5
Room’s floor space in square feet 70 – 89Room’s floor space in square metres 6.5 – 8.3Maximum number of people allowed 1
Room’s floor space in square feet 90 – 109Room’s floor space in square metres 8.4 – 10.1Maximum number of people allowed 1.5
Room’s floor space in square feet 110Room’s floor space in square metres 10.2Maximum number of people allowed 2

If you are overcrowded and want to find out your housing options and choices then you can contact the Housing Options Team. 

If you are in a private rented home and believe you are overcrowded, discuss this first with your landlord and find out what the options might be. After this, you can report the problem to us and we can follow it up. Fill out a general enquiries form to report it to us. 

If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) that has a licence, then the maximum number of tenants allowed to live there will be part of the licence. Not all House in Multiple Occupation need a licence.

You can find more information on the Houses in Multiple Occupation page. 

Last reviewed: March 12, 2024 by Ian

Next review due: September 12, 2024

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